F U L L . R E V I E W S

Trick or Treat - 1986 - De Laurentis

Back in 1986, heavy metal was riding on one of its biggest commercial waves ever. You had rock bands like Crue, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Ratt, Dokken, Tesla and Twisted Sister; hair bands like Bon Jovi; speed metal like Yngie, Running Wild and Grave Digger; power metal from Dio, Scorpions and Maiden; thrash metal from Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer. Life was good then, folks. You should've been there.

It's no surprise that the movie industry tried to get their middle finger in the pie by putting together two things that seem to fit well together--heavy metal and horror. I can remember going to the theater to see "Trick or Treat" thinking that it was going to be real cool because the entire movie was based around metal, not just the soundtrack. Now, I hoped the movie would stay true to the 'old-school' roots of metal instead of pandering to the 'poseurs' that were skipping through the genre.

Marc Price, Skippy from "Family Ties", is the lead star, Eddie Weinbauer aka Ragman(?), who takes his shit way seriously. He's the metalhead social outcast of the school with his pseudo, messed-up mullet; got his black shirts, jean jacket and leather bracelets--the real ones, not that cheap junk they sell at Claire's Boutique. All over his attic room is metal posters and magazine covers with Judas Priest and Anthrax when Scott Ian had hair. Right in the middle, hanging like Sebastian Bach's portrait of himself from MTV "Cribs", is a giant photo of his hero, Sammi Curr. That's Sammi with an "i" because great guitarists end their name with a long 'e' sound (Jimi, Eddie, Jimmy).

Now, I don't know why Eddie was the lone headbanger at school because metal was hot and trendy at the time, but he only hung out with some other dork and always ends up on the bad side of the popular, gel-haired, prep-jocks who get the gorgeous girls and like to towel-snap guys in the ass. They make his life difficult with insults and pranks. Of course, Eddie isn't getting any poontang, but there is a chick who feels sorry for him.

Alas, Eddie's world gets more difficult when Sammi dies in a hairspay hotel fire at the age of 38...Thirty eight!? Shit, he was old like Alice Cooper. Unlike some of the nuts who wanted to kill themselves after Curt Kobain offed himself, Eddie carried on like a wayward son and went to see his buddy "Nuke" played by Gene Simmons. Gene plays this rich, Jew...sorry, radio DJ with a black, George Washington wig who feels Eddie's pain and gives him the only studio master of Sammi's last record. He's supposed to play it at midnight on Halloween. Gene can give it away because he already has a taped copy. <---MAJOR PLOT TWIST!!!!!!

Now, for the mallcore kids from this generation, a record or phonograph is a thin circular, black piece of plastic with grooves that when placed on a record player causes a stylus to vibrate. The cool thing about them was that you could use your hand to run the record at different speeds or even backwards. Bands slipped little backwards messages in their music to screw with fans and there were even ideas from blowhards that the messages hid references to Satan.

Eddie plays Sammi's last record, "Songs in the Key of Death", backward and it tells Eddie how to get revenge; tells him that he's gonna "get them all". Pretty cool of him to die and use the record like a ouija board, so Eddie can get vengeance through him, or is there an evil motive that Sammi has?...mwahhahaha! Turns out that anytime somebody plays a tape copy of the record, bad things happen. Man, the R.I.A.A. had some really crazy mojo back then!

Ozzy shows up as a moral crusader on TV...pretty cool. Eddie tries to destroy the record 'cause he's really a decent boy, but the room shakes like a Quiet Riot video and out comes Sammi--Heavy Metal Murderer. He looks like a combination of black metal meets hair metal meets Two-Face. It just happens to be time for the school Halloween dance, so Sammi, who can move through electrical items now, shows up at the school, takes to the stage and wreaks havoc. I have to say that when he started singing, his scary quotient dropped faster than egg drop soup at a porno convention. He sang high-vocal Fastway songs and it would've been better if he sounded closer to Lemmy.

Anyway, I don't want to spoil the already weak ending and this review is getting as long and cheesy as the movie itself, so to sum it, it's metal, it's Halloween, Eddie gets the girl at the end and you can find it on DVD at a Wal-Mart bargain bin for five bones and some change.

Look: Low budget with somewhat clever special effects except for some blue cartoon lightning.

Flesh Factor: Some high school ta-tas.

Violence: Comic book with no blood.

Scare factor - If "The Exorcist" is a 10, this would be about a 3.

DVD extras: none.

Messages Learned:

1. Don't fuck with evil.
2. Don't go to high school dances. You should've learned this from Carrie.
3. If you shake hands with Gene Simmons, check for your rings then check for your fingers.

My biased opinion: 2 1/2 devil horns if you're a headbanger from the day.


Rating Scale:

0 - Buy some rope and hang the filmmakers.
1 - Wish I could sue to get the two hours of my life back.
2 - Only thing that might save this trash is some T&A.
3 - Some redeeming qualities in this movie, but it might translate better as TNN Movie of the Week or just watch it on matinee day. Worth a cheap rental.
4 - You won't feel bad dropping $7 bones to see this one and you'll probably want to watch it again when it hits the rental stores.
5 - The shit...a must have for your private home collection. Buy it, download it, steal it; however you can get your hands on it then memorize every line of dialog and store that nugget in your head for future quoting with your buds.

--Frank Hill
About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

Trick or TreatTrick or Treat
Frank Hill10/24/2003

Tin SoldiersTrick Or Treat
Eric Compton5/2/2010



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